So you’ve decided to have an alcohol-free or minimal-alcohol wedding. Congratulations!
Now you’re stuck with the daunting task of figuring out what to serve your guests in place of more traditional libations. Fear not! I bring you a list of TEN alternative beverages to serve both yourselves and your guests.
You may find some of these ideas seasonally appropriate or particularly on-theme for your wedding. Even if you are serving alcohol at your wedding, and you’re just here to look for a little something extra, embrace a suggestion if it calls to you!
Coffee or Tea Bar. “But don’t most venues serve coffee and tea after dinner,” you ask? Not like this. Imagine if you will: An espresso beverage menu on a board or insert that matches your wedding’s aesthetic. Guests can have their own café experience with drinks made from specially-selected, fair-trade coffee beans with unique flavour profiles. Different syrups, milk alternatives, and latte art… ALL AT A WEDDING. More of a tea person? No problem! Commission a custom blend or two from a local seller and offer your guests tea lattes in addition to pure, unadulterated leaf juice. This is a fantastic option for tea and coffee connoisseurs, and may come with the bonus of allowing you to gift your guests samples of the beans or leaves used at your wedding. Honestly? As a low-key tea snob, this sounds like a dream to me.
Custom Mocktails. Who says that signature drinks have to be alcoholic? Any experienced bartender or mixologist should be able to help you create a perfect mocktail or two for your wedding. Perfect for kids, and you can colour-coordinate!
Italian Soda. For anyone who may be unfamiliar, an Italian soda is essentially club soda mixed with a flavoured syrup of your choice. If you add milk or cream, you’ll have a French Soda. The ability to customize flavours alone gives this options loads of potential- Let your guests stick with one flavour, mix a couple together, or keep experimenting until their find their favourite flavour! Don’t discount fun garnishes like cherries, citrus slices, or mint leaves.
Fruit-Infused Water. Form and Function? I love it. While this option may be better suited to a morning or afternoon wedding, the aesthetic potential is off the charts. Select any transparent dispenser, as well as any fruit you wish to include, and you have a drink station that doubles as décor.
Iced Tea and Lemonades. These options work perfectly for a Summer wedding. You can stick with traditional flavours, or create your own. If you’re into strong, floral flavours, you could go with Rose or Hibiscus Iced Tea and Lavender Lemonade. If you love tropical flavours, try a Mango-Pineapple Iced Tea or a Papaya or Lychee Lemonade. It’s extremely easy to elevate these drinks by playing with flavours!
Smoothies. This is perfect for a brunch reception. Picking your favourite options from a list of ingredients and creating your own smoothie is such a fun experience. Even picky eaters may enjoy this! How would you describe your ideal smoothie: Green Goddess, Berry Bliss, or Chunky Monkey?
Milkshakes and Root Beer Floats. Are you dreaming of a retro or vintage wedding? This is a fantastic fit for that. Let your guests choose their milkshake or float flavours in a throwback to 1950’s diners. Not loving root beer? Experiment with cream soda, ginger beer, or birch beer floats. Want to elevate the milkshakes? Try unique flavours like cookie dough or blackberry ripple. This is plenty of fun for adults and children alike!
Slushies. This offbeat idea is great for weddings with a healthy dose of gamer culture or carnival flair. If you’re not loving the laid-back vibe, call it “Granita”- it’s essentially the same thing! Figure out how you want to serve it and let your guests cool down with a variety of flavours!
Hot Chocolate. This is great for a Winter wedding. Good, high-quality hot chocolate is very memorable. Offer your guests extra mix-ins like whipped cream, gourmet marshmallows, sprinkles, spices, syrups, or flavourings. If you want to get extra fancy, you can offer hot chocolate “blends” based on cocoa content- preferences may vary, but the recommended concentration is 60-70%.
Cider. What drink is more Autumnal than a warm cup of spiced apple cider? If you’re looking for variety, you can make cider from just about any type of fruit. I’ve seen pear, peach, and elderflower cider… but as far as other variations go, your imagination is the limit!